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Netherlands reimposes 1.5-meter social-distancing rule

In view of new record levels of infections and patient numbers, the Netherlands has reimposed its 1.5-metre social-distancing rule, designed to make it harder for people to spread the virus.

Amsterdam, 24 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) — In view of new record levels of infections and patient numbers, the Netherlands has reimposed its 1.5-meter social-distancing rule, designed to make it harder for people to spread the virus.

Those who do not keep a safe distance can be fined 95 euros (107 dollars), the Ministry of Justice announced in The Hague on Tuesday.

The obligation does not apply in restaurants and in the cultural sector because those are only accessible to those who show proof of vaccination, recovery from covid or a recent negative test. Hairdressers and public transport are also exempt.

The distance rule had only been abolished in September. At the beginning of November, the government then imposed a partial shutdown because of the worsening situation.

Restaurants and supermarkets have to close at 8 pm, other shops at 6 pm. Masks are again compulsory in buildings open to the public.

In the past seven days, about 154,000 new infections were registered, about 40 percent more than in the previous week.

According to information from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, this is a new record since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The seven-day incidence rate of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants is now more than 880.

A total of 2,540 covid patients are in hospitals, 488 of them in intensive care units.

The situation at the hospitals is now so precarious that even cancer and heart operations have to be canceled.

On Tuesday, the first two covid patients were transferred to hospitals across the border in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia.

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